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Judge rules NYPD 'stop-and-frisk' policy unconstitutional

Posted on August 12th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York CityA judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Aug. 12 that the New York Police Department (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Over the past decade, the city has conducted about 5 million stop-and-frisks, with more than 80% of those targeted Black or Latino. Judge Shira Scheindlin noted: "A lot of people are being frisked or searched on suspicion of having a gun and nobody has a gun. Only 0.14 percent of stops have led to police finding guns. So the point is suspicion turns out to be wrong in most cases." Scheindlin said she was not putting an end to the policy, but would name an independent monitor to help develop reforms to the practice. She also ordered that officers test out body-worn cameras in precincts where most stops occurred. 

DEA-NSA collaboration revealed

Posted on August 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

DEAReuters reports that it has reviewed documents revealing the existence of a DEA Special Operations Division (SOD) that partners with the FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS and Homeland Security to share information. The documents show that agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to cover up where the information originated—a nod to the supposed firewall between national security and law enforcement investigations. The SOD, launched in 1994 to combat Latin American cartels, has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred. (Reuters, Aug. 5)

George Zimmerman acquitted

Posted on July 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Evidence of Trayvon Martin's marijuana use was allowed by the judge, but not submitted in the George Zimmerman murder trial, which wrapped up this week in Florida with a not guilty verdict. As a result, when the defense rested its case on July 11, jurors did not hear about the trace amounts of THC that were uncovered in Martin’s autopsy. The limited value of the evidence likely played a part in the defense team's decision. The THC level (around 1.5 nanograms, according to the medical examiner) almost certainly indicates that any marijuana use by Martin didn't take place on the evening that he was shot by Zimmerman and probably wasn’t even recent.

ACLU report finds racial disparities in cannabis arrests

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

leafA report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) June 4 finds a racial bias in cannabis arrest rates, with Blacks 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites. The report, "The War on Marijuana in Black and White," is the first of its kind, concluding that the "war" on cannabis is a failure, with billions of dollars wasted on racially biased arrests. The ACLU found that both marijuana arrestsand racial disparities in these arrests increased between 2001 and 2010—despite the fact that Black and white folk use cannabis at a similar rate. In some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, Blacks were up to eight times as likely to be arrested. The report offers suggestions on policy and policing:

SCOTUS upholds warrantless DNA collection

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Shadow WatchThe US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 June 3 in Maryland v. King that police may collect DNA samples from individuals arrested and charged with serious crimes. The respondent in the case, Alonzo King, challenged the validity of Maryland's DNA Collection Act after state officials used a DNA sample taken after a 2009 arrest on assault charges to implicate him in a 2003 rape. In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority found that the warrantless DNA collection does not violate Fourth Amendment rights. Kennedy wrote:

Police raid Southern Oregon NORML office

Posted on May 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Police on May 23 arrested four in raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Southern Oregon. Medford Police Chief Tim George said the arrests followed a two-year investigation in which undercover police purchased cannabis outside the law governing medical marijuana. The Oregon medical marijuana allows growers to recover only their expenses, and nothing to cover their labor or a profit. Oregon's Mail Tribune reports that among the four was Lori Duckworth, executive director of Southern Oregon NORML.

SCOTUS upholds Fourth Amendment in drug-sniff case

Posted on March 27th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

The US Supreme Court ruled March 26 in Florida v. Jardines that an alert from a drug-sniffing dog on a suspect's front porch constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The ruling upheld the Florida Supreme Court, which held that evidence gathered pursuant to search warrant obtained based on the positive alert from the dog must be suppressed because the dog's presence itself constituted a warrantless search. The case stemmed from a 2006 incident in which Miami police and DEA agents, acting on a tip, place the home of Joelis Jardines under warrantless surveillance. Following the canine alert, a warrant was obtained, which uncovered Jardines' indoor grow operaiton.

Seattle drops police drone program under protest

Posted on February 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchSeattle's Mayor Mike McGinn on Feb. 7 ordered his police department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested. McGinn said the two small drones obtained through a federal grant will be returned to the vendor. "Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department's priority," he said in a brief statement.

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